Valencia’s Double Goals Helped Ecuador Win Against Qatar in FIFA World Cup Opener
Ecuador defeated hosts Qatar 2-0 to start the 2022 World Cup off on the right foot. In the FIFA rankings, Ecuador is in position 44, while the host nation Qatar is in position 50.
Enner Valencia scored twice as the South Americans commanded at the Al Bayt Stadium to lead by two goals at the break. The former West Ham striker also had a goal controversially disallowed by Var.
In a fairly dull game, the hosts were unable to generate any clear-cut opportunities, and Ecuador was able to easily resist them after halftime to secure the three points.
Valencia’s teammate Michael Estrada had an early header disallowed due to a questionable offside call, but he didn’t have to wait long to rejoice after winning and calmly scoring a penalty in the 16th minute.
As a result, the Ecuadorian captain became the first player in his nation’s history to score four goals in the World Cup finals. He added a fifth goal shortly after the half by heading in a gorgeous right-wing cross from Angelo Preciado.
Almoez Ali, Qatar’s joint-record scorer, will regret missing a wonderful opportunity right before halftime, but Felix Sanchez’s team fell far short of the high expectations that had been quietly raised prior to the game.
Qatar XI: Pedro, Saad, Bassam, Abdelkarim, , Khoukhi, Homam, Al-Haydos, Karim, Afif, Aziz, Almoez.
Ecuador XI: Galindez, Torres, Preciado, Hincapie, Plata, Mendez, Estupinan, Caicedo, Ibarra, Valencia, Estrada.